Mason Jar Cupcakes. Cute? YES! Bad idea?... Well, when I first got started, I thought so. I was a mess. My very small kitchen was a disaster, there was batter all over the edges of the jar (which turned brown a it baked!), I filled the jars without spraying them with baking spray, I filled them too much... but lucky for you, you get to learn from my mistakes! Below is the step by step to make these beautiful red velvet cupcakes in mason jars.
In the coming weeks as I bake and make other sweets and desserts, I will provide process images, including mistakes that were made, but for now here are some keys in baking in mason jars:
1 / Spray the jars! I did a test run before I started the real cupcakes, and although the cupcakes didn't stick much, they pop right out and are soooo much easier to eat when you spray the jar interior.
2 / Get a batter pen! During the first batch, I didn't plan ahead. I started pouring, tried using scoops and spoons, and even made a poor man's funnel (cut the top off a waterbottle and used that!). Mess. Mess. Mess. All over the sides! It took a while to wipe the interior wall clean. Get a batterpen, you'll thank me.
3 / Don't fill too much! I thought a standard ⅔ was going to work. Wrong. Only will the jar ¼ the way. Filling the jar only ¼ allows you to ice the cupcake and close the lid without messing anything up! Then you can freeze the cupcakes or transport them easily!
4 / You can freeze cupcakes?!? Did you know that? I did not! 75 cupcakes for a party was a big undertaking for a novice baker like myself, but I learned from a veteran baker that most cupcakes can be frozen in airtight containers (with or without icing) for up to 2 months! A jar is airtight! I baked 1 batch at a time, let them cool completely before covering, put the lids on real tight, then popped them in the freezer. Note: I did not frost until the night before the party, but you can! Remove the cupcakes the day before and allow them to come to room temperature for serving.
5 / Jars are not the same size as standard liners. There's nothing worse then running out of ingredients in the middle of making something. Yup, it happened to me. A standard recipe makes 12 cupcakes, but it is possible (depending on the size of your jars) that it will make less. I had to make more batches to reach my goal amount, and ran out of red food coloring. Not fun. Plan ahead, understand that more (or less) batches will be necessary.
RECIPE BELOW - GET BAKING!
Makes 24 Cupcakes in standard liners / Mason jar amount depends on size of jar
FOR THE BATTER
2½ cups cake flour (not self- rising), sifted
2 tbsp unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 tsp salt
1½ cups sugar
1½ cups vegetable oil
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 tbsp red food coloring
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
1½ tsp baking soda
2 tsp distilled white vinegar
FOR THE FROSTING
2 (8-ounce packages) cream cheese, at room temperature
8 tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter,at room temperature
2½ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1 / Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together cake flour, cocoa, and salt.
2 / With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, whisk together sugar and oil until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Mix in food color and vanilla.
3 / Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk, and whisking well after each. Stir together the baking soda and vinegar in a small bowl (it will foam); add mixture to the batter, and mix on medium speed 10 seconds.
4 / Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full*. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 18-20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool 10 minutes before removing cupcakes.
FOR THE FROSTING
1 / Beat cream cheese and butter at medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute. (a stand mixer with paddle attachment would be best but not necessary).
2 / Add sugar, vanilla, and salt. Blend on low speed for 30 seconds; beat on medium high until fluffy.
3 / When cupcakes are cooled completely, frost with cream cheese frosting.
* FOR MASON JARS / Spray jars VERY well. Fill jars ¼ way full. Use a batter pen or funnel to ensure no batter gets on sides of jar. If batter gets on the sides of the jar, use a wet paper towel to wipe clean. Baking with batter on interior sides of jar will cause jar to brown. Do not bake with lids on! Jars vary, be sure to check frequently. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 18-20 minutes.
Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers. Bring to room temperature before serving.
What do you think? Going to give it a try? Let me know if I missed anything, if you have any questions that aren't answered or if there's a recipe you'd like me to try out!